Respiratory infections are a major health problem in the Inuit population of Nunavik, province of Quebec, Canada.
A study was undertaken to assess the burden of lower (LRTI) and upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and otitis media (OM) and to explore some of their determinants including the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) status.
The reference population includes children less than 5 years of age born in 1994-2010 and a sample of 825 children was selected for this study. Outpatient medical records were reviewed. Visits with a diagnosis of LRTI, URTI and OM were extracted. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were performed to identify predictors of disease risk.
The average number of LRTI, URTI and OM episodes were, respectively, 2.6, 6.2 and 5.9 from birth up to the 5th birthday. Seasonal patterns were similar for URTI and OM, but was different for LRTI. Children who received the recommended 4 PCV doses had a lower LRTI and OM risk than unvaccinated children. There was a trend towards a lower OM risk associated with a mixed PCV10+ PCV13 schedule compared with PCV7.
Results suggest a lower LRTI and OM risk associated with PCV use in this high-risk population but respiratory disease risk remains high compared with the general population in Quebec.